With college basketball recruits getting younger and younger - Aurora, Ill., eighth grader Ryan Boatright recently orally committed to the University of Southern California - it should come as no surprise some high school juniors-to-be have flourished this summer on the AAU circuit.
Putnam City (Okla.) High's Xavier Henry, No. 2-rated prospect in the Class of 2009, on Tuesday scored 21 points to lead Athletes First to a 74-66 victory over Alabama Storm in the finals of the 16 and Under AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, Fla.
The 6-foot-6 Henry, who recently accepted an invitation to North Carolina's Late Night With Roy Williams, has a final list of KU, UNC, Memphis, Louisville, Ohio State and Texas.
Ex-Jayhawk standout Carl Henry's son has accepted an invitation to the Nike Global Challenge tournament Sunday through Tuesday in Portland.
"He's looked really good this summer," Rivals.com analyst Jerry Meyer told the Daily Oklahoman. "He is an elite prospect and has the chance to be a superstar in the NBA one day. He's that good."
Other KU junior targets competing at the Nike Challenge include Daniel Orton, 6-9, McGuinness High, Oklahoma City; Lance Stephenson, 6-4, Lincoln High, Brooklyn, N.Y.; as well as seniors Greg Monroe, 6-10, Cox High, Harvey, La.; Rotnei Clarke, 6-1, Verdigris High, Claremore, Okla.; and Willie Warren, 6-4, North Crowley (Texas) High.
Other players who have yet to begin their junior seasons who have KU on their list of prospective schools are: Abdul Gaddy, 6-3, Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, Wash.; Jerry Brown, 6-6, Sacred Heart Cathedral, San Francisco; Anthony Marshall, 6-3, Mojave High, Las Vegas; and Brendan Lane, 6-8, Rocklin (Calif.) High.
Gaddy told Rivals.com he favors Gonzaga and Washington over KU, Oregon, Arizona and Pepperdine.
Brown told Rivals.com he hopes to make an unofficial visit to KU in September. He also likes UCLA, USC, Texas, Washington, Pepperdine, Arizona and Texas.
Lane said his list consists of USC, Cal-Berkeley, Arizona State, KU, Stanford, UCLA, Kentucky, Utah and Washington.
Marshall lists KU, Kansas State, UNLV, Colorado State, Arizona, Arizona State, Gonzaga, Pepperdine, Washington and Washington State.
¢Rush honored: KU junior Brandon Rush has made Dick Vitale's first-team All-Rolls Royce squad. He's joined by Roy Hibbert, Georgetown; Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina; Chris Lofton, Tennessee and Drew Neitzel, Michigan State.
¢Warren outstanding: Add ESPN.com analyst Antonio Williams to those impressed by the play of Texan Warren at this week's Adidas tournament in Vegas.
"Warren did not look to score during this game, but he did an exceptional job of creating offense for his teammates. He has great ball-handling skills and court vision.
Warren proved that he was the best player on the court without forcing on offense," Williams wrote after one contest.